There is one sure way I know to have a horrible life.
Guaranteed, without a doubt, no-joy-whatsoever kind of life. And that would be living a life plagued with the virus of insecurity.
You see, I believe insecurity to be one of the ugliest of all of the negative emotions. Insecurity is lethal, it can run through your system, habitat behind your ears and between your toes and even when you think it's all gone you still find a gram of that ugly beast hanging around.
Insecurity is always about you.
Whilst anger, jealousy and even hatred throw poison in someone else's direction insecurity is a constant poisoning of oneself.
We all know how hard it is to have somebody constantly on our back, constantly on our case, always going on about things we did wrong, being overly critical and never giving as a moment of peace. Whilst this is frustrating with a work colleague, a parent, spouse or even a friend it's a lot harder to bear when it's you giving yourself the hard time.
But here's the good news. Insecurity can be healed.
If I may, I'd like you to come with me to the city of Liverpool… enter a back-street apartment building, travel of two flights of stairs and enter through a wooden door on your right. Just Follow the beige carpet up the corridor and enter the bedroom on your left. There you will find somebody hiding under the bedcovers scared to face the day because they are completely plagued with insecurity.
That person is me.
Though I can't recall everything exactly, I do know that I was likely suffering from feelings of low self-worth, emotional instability, a desire to be liked and inability to stand up to myself. I felt sick, like having a hangover, but it wasn't alcohol-induced hangover it was one caused by a major overdose of self-loathing.
Honestly, I don't know how to live a life completely free from insecurity. I'm not there yet. But I'm definitely a lot further along the lines used to be… I'm no longer the boy in bed scared to face the world. So, the first thing I can advise for overcoming insecurity is to absolutely stop all criticism. Stop criticising yourself for how you lock stop criticising yourself what you've achieved stop criticising yourself at the belief that you haven't done enough. Absolutely stop it. You are enough, you do enough, you have enough, it's all enough. I know you won't believe this at first but do me a favour and practice reminding yourself that you are enough every day and the next 30 days.
If you don't begin to feel a little bit happier, I promise complete money back guarantee. The second thing I can advise the overcoming a life of insecurity is the stop chasing approval like your scavenger dark looking for scraps of meat. We strive strive strive to be appraised, recognised and appreciated by others. Have you noticed yet that there is no end this? Even if you get someone's approval for a millisecond you can't guarantee that person's approval the next day (And the next day and the next day and the next day). To live a life in need of approval is a sure way to sign up for a feeling of exhaustion.
Consider for a second, what do you actually get when someone approves of you?
I'll give you a second to think on that.
I'm not trying to catch you out here but the truth is you don't really get much. In fact, in spite of a slight lifting mood you get nothing besides another scavenger hunt for the next scrap of approval going.
And finally, the last thing I can advise for a life free of insecurity is to keep a list of the people whose opinions matter to you. I first heard this piece of advice from the wonderful Brene Brown (author of Daring Greatly). She says that she carries around this list in her purse. This is a surefire way to remember whose opinions matter to you. By doing this you will no longer care what your neighbours think, what the checkout lady thinks or what your co-worker thinks.
But before I give insecurity such an insatiably bad rap…
I will finish by saying a few kind words on the ugly monster that lives inside of our heads. Have you noticed something beautiful about insecurity? I have. In fact, I've noticed a few beautiful things about insecurity. Firstly, it's invisible. Thank god for that. You don't have to walk around with the T-shirt that says, "Hello, I'm insecure". And secondly, it's a wonderful knowledge that shows you that something is out of line.
So, don't worry so much. Insecurity is a monster that lives under each and every one of our beds. Sometimes it raises ugly head and sometimes it doesn't.
So I hope you accordingly go ahead, fall down, make a fool of yourself and get it wrong.
Who cares? Maybe nobody is looking.